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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Before the girls :)

Saturday, April 27, 2013 A 6:33 am

Good morning.  This is me .. we're just trying out a new writer for our blog, so by the time that this is posted ... it won't look anything different than our normal blog, but at the time of writing we are actually writing to "Writer" and it is a black screen with florescent green script.  It's kind of cool for a change.  I'm not so sure though the part that we can't change fontsize.  That could be a deal breaker.

It is just morning and we're sitting in front of the fire.  Rich is to the right of me and he's been sleeping in his rocker.  He had switched from the bed to the chair about 4 am, and then we joined him at 4:30 am.  The only difference was that he fell back to sleep and we stayed up.  We drifted for awhile, and then finally got up to make coffee.  We thought about sitting in the sunroom, but after opening the door we felt it was a little too cool yet.  So, we found our Chromebook and brought it back to our chair.

Ahh, Rich is up now.  His alarm went off about a half hour ago, but he soaked the clock.  I think he's actually going to start his day because I think he has to be ready to leave here by 8:30 am, or possibly sooner.  He's got a game this morning.  It is about an hour NE of here.  No, I wouldn't like his schedule.  It's too hard!

Today is a big day because two of the Granddaughters Jade and Isa are going to come and do an overnight.  Maury and Nikki are dropping them off and Ame and Jasmine will be in the car, but they are just doing the drop-off part.  Maury said they will be here between noon and two pm, and that they'll stay for only about a half an hour.  Rich went to the store today and we peeked in the fridge to see what he had gotten.  He has a good memory because he got cookie dough ice cream AND cookie dough to make cookies!  VERY excited about that!  He will be home plenty of time before dinner, but the plan is to put in frozen pizza's.  I saw there were four of them in the freezer.  I'm thinking he would have gotten a cheese one for the girls.  He's smart like that.

I'm a little worried because this is something we haven't done before - having an overnight, but it should be ok.  We've got Rich for a back-up, AND the girls are tough!  We're thinking that pretty much we'll take care of them while they are here, but Rich will do any of the hard stuff.  Whoops, Missy had been meowing and we didn't know why.  After Rich got up, it turned out that Missy had gone out in the sunroom and I'd shut her out.  Oh dear ... this is not a really good show of Ann being responsible.  What is up with that?  Am I going to be ok?  Shoot, shoot!

Hmm, somehow it got to be about an hour later because it is now 7:36 am.  Rich is just getting out of the shower and we've picked things up and made the bed and such.  No dirty clothes to wash today.  We are going to want to iron the pillow cases for Jade and Isa ... maybe they will bring their own.  I think that's pretty normal sleepover behavior. We can always pull extra pillows from the couch ... there are plenty of pillow cases.  That's pretty much the kind of thinking we have done ... beside the part where we've chosen a few songs like Do-Re-Mi and continue to sing them badly.  BUT, it makes us happy so that's all there is to that.

We did take our medicine, but we're thinking Rich is thinking we could have taken it earlier.  We were playing with his hand and reminding him where all the knuckles, and finger nails, and forearms were.  Ok, yes we might be in a little bit of a silly mood.  BUT, I'm seeing or Granddaughters today!  WOOHOO!!!!!  So excited.

I'm not sure what else has gone on between now and the last time we wrote.  We've been sort of filling in the hours with things happening other than writing.  For a while we were ironing, and then for a week or two ago, we joined a couple of quilting groups, one the Sandwich Quilting Guild, and the second the church lady's of St. John's Lutheran Church quilting drive for making quilts for the Lutheran World Relief.  The latter is where we've been spending the majority of our time and attention.

Ahh Rich is back out of the shower and dressed.  He's having his breakfast ... It's almost 8 am now and he has to leave for his game in about 20 minutes.  He should be home about 1 pm.  I think I told you the kids are coming between noon and two pm.  We put on some love songs, but thinking that Rich is going to turn something more substantial on ... whoops, yep, there we go.  He's listening to CNN.  That's what we listened to last night while he was gone.  He had another game, and then he stopped for groceries and then he went over to his mother's for a few moments.  Hmm, didn't stay on CNN long.  I had forgotten about him watching his fishy shows.  YAY FISHYMAN!  He might go tomorrow morning AND someone just discovered donuts in the cupboard when he reached for his cereal bowl ... WOW!  How did THAT hide there without me knowing!??  I think Rich has to go back though because he forgot about the toaster waffles we'd asked for.  If he wanted to go fishing AND NOT make waffles that was going to be the trade off.  I think he's good to go.

We're going to take a shower in a few moments, but there is not much else to do before the kids get here, but I would like to do the floors.  I vacuumed yesterday, but the kitties have left more fur on my bedroom carpet and we're in need of doing the sunroom.  We'd forgotten about that yesterday but it seems to pick up dirt from coming in from the garage.  I don't think we have enough energy to do the breezeway, but that is coming soon.  I want to wait until Rich pulls the rug back between the garage and the breezeway so I can vacuum that too.

One of the things that happened since the last time we wrote was that we had a pretty good size flood.  It was really major in that Rich's Mom and Bud stayed over for four days and three nights.  That had some good and bad.  We found that EVERY day she was here, Rich and Bud would disappear and I would be left with his mother.  I liked it mostly because its fun to have guest.  BUT, she needed a lot of attention and help.  We had problems throughout with her wanting to smoke inside our house instead of the sunroom and she made it clear that unless we changed our minds that she would rather go home.  It didn't make me feel happy as a hostess, but I'm glad Rich stayed with his resolve.  We told her it was up to Rich because she was Rich's mother and not mine.

I was a little more able to be manipulated.  She finally got me to pour a full drink though we found out in-between she was serving herself.  The last night before she left, she got overly drunk and yelled and screamed until 2-3 am.  I had taken my medicine and gone to bed, but Rich and Bud were up taking turns watching her.  She was really a mess.  She would yell things over and over like people were hurting her when they weren't and how we'd locked her into our house and how she wanted to go home.  Dr. Marvin and I talked about alcoholics the next time we were in. He talked about certain parts of the brain shutting off like the part that can reason between feeling and thinking and that some parts of her memory were turned off so she might not even know that she was repeating herself.

I talked to her a little about the drinking the next morning.  Rich and Bud had both left at 4:30 am.  Rich was going fishing and Bud went back to their place to continue taking care of their flooded property.  She remembers more than sometimes she lays out.  We waited until she triggered a comment that was relevant to her taking responsibility for what she'd done.  She wanted to blame it on Bud, but we were there at 6 pm the night before when she turned from ok, to overly drunk.  We could tell her about her slurring and that she kept going until she was in her angry mood.  No one caused her to be that way, it was a result of the alcohol.  She is a mean drunk and was hurtful through her words to especially Rich and Bud.

Hmm, Rich just left.  He was into his own space and were in ours, but we never forget to remind him to have fun, drive safe, and know that we love him.  He's my super bunny friend!

Remember, I'm supposed to turn off the fireplace, and clean the bathrooms AND floors.  Oh, and take a shower.  We're not ready for that yet.  It's been so long since we've written and we're so comfortable in the recliner in front of the fire typing our heart away!

Anyway to finish with Rich's mother ... We left off on a good note, but certainly more conscious.  We made sure to tell her that we felt guilty because we had poured her the last drink.  She stated as the guys had guessed that she poured a drink in-between things, but I'm hoping the bad memory of her being overly drunk will be strong enough for me to say no matter how disgusted she gets with me, we're not pouring another drink.  PLEASE help us stay resolute about this.  It was pretty terrible and she was saying things like wishing Rich hadn't been born and how he owed his life to her and that she was the elder and was the one people were supposed to listen too.  Just that she was drunk and makes absolutely no sense.  She can say that other people like her ex were drunks, but she still doesn't believe she is.  Maybe she does internally, but if she acknowledges it out loud, maybe she would have to do something about it, and She REALLY feels that at her age, she doesn't have to change no matter who she hurts in the process.  It's hard to respect those kinds of decisions.

Hopefully, we don't have to go through much of that again.  I think for the most part I was off her radar as far as the vileness of her words, but it wouldn't take much to be included on the list.  I did feel protected by Rich and Bud, in that they let me go to sleep and in that manner took responsibility for her when she didn't.

Ok, now back to some things that are happier.  One of the things that also happened is that we earned ourselves the first little house.  We were really happy about that and we're glad when it came in.  We left it for the present on the fireplace mantel.  We need to get some super glue gel as recommended by the company to re-glue a few little pieces.  For our trouble they gave us 15% off.  We had at the time actually been $20 over what we'd been looking for.  I wrote down the date, but we had lost 10 pounds so that was $30 and we included $16 for the total of days we'd been a good domestic Goddess.  The house was $30, but the delivery was $15.  I'm not sure what we're up to now.  I know that we haven't lost more weight, but we were ahead of the game as to days doing well.  I'm not sure which piece we'll pick next.  But, one for sure!  We still need a board for the top of the cabinet because there is no official top to the kitchen cabinets where the pieces are going to go.  And we need to hook up the extension cords so we can light it up.  It is a little smaller than I thought it would be, but that's ok too because the pieces will be subtle instead of overdominating in the space.  All is good!

Another thing that had happened recently was the deal with the quilting guild and the church quilters ... I had started to say a little about this before, but we would like to say for the record how excited we were about these turns of events.  The quilting guild was more formal and included about 3-4 times the number of people as the church group.  People at the door were friendly enough and so were the people we sat with.  They announced that we'd joined and we listened to a guest speaker.  She was fine in that she'd brought with quite a few quilts laced back through history and she talked about basically woman's rights and expression that the quilts represented.  It was fine, but it had been a while since we needed to sit through a meeting and the chairs were uncomfortable toward the end.  It was formal too in that she was really the only one that was talking ... and that can be a little monotonous.  There of course is always one lady in the front who tries to dominate the time and attention of the speaker, but the speaker dealt pretty good with it. Not overly confident, but strong enough not to go under.

The guild also had a little business meeting and it had a show and tell.  They were in the process of electing new officers and seemed to have quite a few women involved in committees.  We obviously didn't volunteer because we were too new.  I didn't like the part that they don't meet in June and July.  I think in part because of there being so many farm people in the group and it is their hard season.  I also wasn't thrilled that in May they are having an internal garage sale in that people bring stuff to sell and they buy and then the money goes toward the church they are meeting at ... At least the smaller items.  I think they said anything over $200 goes back to the group for their projects.  I was a little startled with the beauty of all the quilts during their show and tell.  I think 15 people had stuff, and the majority of these had more than one and one person up to 5-6 quilts that they'd been working on.  Man-o-man.  We thought very much that we were one of the least experienced in the group.  I don't recall now the quilts, just the memory of thinking that they were really done well.

I think it is the right group for me to join.  I believe in supporting locally, and now that I live in Sandwich, I want to be part of the Sandwich guild.  I'm really glad it is a big enough town to support a group.  I think they cover other areas too.  People were interested in where we lived and this might have been part of a pecking process, but we proudly stated that we were in Jon's Estates and that it was a mobile home park.  Some knew of it others didn't, but I was't able to connect people with positive or negative responses.  Pretty much it sounded like, "Oh, that's nice."  I figure to rule out anyone that wants to judge me as not as good as them because our house is less.  In the meantime, I hope to pick-up friends with those who can get past it.  I let it be known that I was really interested in meeting people and sewing maybe during the daytime/weekly with others.  Most of the women there with the exception of 2-3 were all older than me ... many in their 60's and 70's.  For a reference, we're only 53.  They talked to each other as they'd been around for a long time and I got a feeling they were more interested in their present friends than reaching out to someone new.  I think one establishes themselves over time and the quality of quilts they bring in.  But for this group, we'll always be a newcomer.  It has to do with not being out in this neighborhood our entire life.  It's ok, we aren't so that is actually a good thing.  I am guessing it prevents inbreeding.  I don't mean to be mean with this, but sometimes the world is bigger than it might seem on a day to day level.

One of the things individuals in the group helped with was that they'd known about a couple quilting groups that met during the day.  As it turned out they were both named St. John, but one was Lutheran and the other Baptist-Catholic.  AND, they were both in the next town over west of Sandwich - called, Somotauk.  Or something close to that.  We chose the location of the Lutheran church because we were Lutheran at one point.  We called the church and they turned out to be just 4-5 miles away which is really reasonable.  The lady on the phone said that they only meet two days a month, and that was the day I called and the next day.  Oh my gosh what good fortune!  It didn't give me time to overthink.  The sessions were 9-3 the third Tuesday/Wednesday and 7-9 pm on Tuesday night (for the workers that worked).  It was 10:30 am when we called, and we were there by 11 am.  We were really excited though we didn't really know too much to expect.  The part that was clearest to us though was that this group of church women sewed for Lutheran World Relief, and that is the same group my Grandmother sewed 40-50 years ago.  It seemed to me that it was really meant to be.

The group was all very welcoming and eager to exchange names and in some effort addresses.  That part was again like the night before, but I didn't feel as rebuffed for where I lived.  It probably was more my being defensive than what I was hearing, but there is some difference in living in a mobile home rather than a regular house.  There's a temporaryness to it.  I think though there are also older people that live in the mobile homes as easier to take care of in retirement and as it turned out one of the people at the church group also lived in a mobile home though at the larger park of 600 where ours is only 35 homes.  I was impressed that so many people wanted to talk and that they were inviting us into the quilting group and church and they made it seem that my help might be very valuable to them.  They also were very good in including us in their discussions in regard to things they were talking about that I might not be otherwise knowledgeable of.  That was a really nice feature of the group.

The actual sewing seems to be very methodological.  The group seems to be older maybe 10-15 years - not sure about this part, but I think the last minister's wife saw the start of the group, and sometime within there they build on the addition to their church that included the quilting room.  It was brought through converstion about the side room that was VERY big - bigger than any kind of normal closet, but closet like in that it held all the "stuff" of the quilting room.  They said that it was built this way exactly to their needs which really shows a givingness of the church.  They are very invested in this project and one stated that the church was particularly orientated to service which couldn't have been a nicer thing to let me know.  I feel much more comfortable about service, which might have stronger roots as my being a former Girl Scout than anything, but for sure we're REALLY into our quilting roots.

Someone explained the basic parts, but we weren't catching really well what everyone was doing.  In general there were people who did ripping of peoples' fabrics donated through curtains and such and then the fabric went to someone ironing, and then to the cutters, and then to the sorters who made kits of the blocks the cutters were making.  They primarily made quilts by the four sizes of 12 - 22" x 22", 24 - 22" x 11 1/2", 48 - 11" x 11", and 96 - "11" x 6".  This seemed pretty easy to learn and was our first job.  The sorting meant more of fabric types than prints that necessarily went with one another.  Like in response to my question, it was really no big deal to match a Christmas print with a Halloween print.  Other than sorting, on the first day we also worked on ironing, because the regular guy wasn't there.  BUT, we were told by one of the cutters that we were getting to far ahead and that we should go back to sorting.  There wasn't a real lot of work there, but the time passed quickly and we had something to do at all times.  We went ahead and marked other piles that didn't equal up to the specified numbers.  Some of the fabric areas were regular, light, heavy, flannel, corduroy, etc. I'm not sure how well I did at this job.  Both the kits I brought home were overcounted.  *sigh*  I guess there is a learning curve.

Some of the other stations were - four sewing machines that did bindings and baby quilts, and then there was a team putting the backings and middles on and finding materials from the donations that had come in, and then there was another team that was working on connecting the three layers by tying the quilts. Where the quilts were coming from was from quilters who had been taking the quilt kits we were putting together.  When the quilt kits were done, they were brought out to the church hallway in a basket/table.  That was a pretty good system I thought.  After the pieces were put together by quilters, then they would bring them back and leave them on the table for the group the following month - 3rd Tues/Wed.

I was really pleased the first day when someone offered to share their lunch with me and people had brought in desserts.  We were introduced to the minister - who is temporary when he came in to share lunch time.  The second day was a little harder, because I had gone out on a limb and had to deal with the personality conflicts that came with that.  I had thought that they said there wouldn't be cutters the following day, so I brought in my mat and cutting tools and told them I would like to cut because there wasn't any pieces to be sorted and I thought I'd be more valuable cutting than ripping out old seams which was more for people who didn't know anything about quilting, but would like to help.

Most the people there - there were like 10-12 people at almost all times, were ok, but later into the time period the cutter named Don came in as well as the other guy that was cutting.  Don was the cutter in charge, and the other guy just did one size pieces.  Don apparently had been cutting for 11-12 years, and I guess the process didn't move any faster of slower than that.  He had a couple big tables and used fixtures.  That came in contention later when he figured out we were cutting too.  We were using our rulers and going by measurements instead of pre-cut panels.  Don didn't understand this and was very frustrated with me and eventually left saying do whatever you want to ... He talked to others and calmed down, but then came over a few more times to get upset.  One was because I was folding the 22" x 22" panels in quarters because I didn't have room on my table.  He didn't see how anyone coming after me would understand this ... he thought they'd take the pieces to be the 11" x 11's".  Each time he just gave up on me and left frustrated.  He was also frustrated, because we had more piles on the table and he didn't think we could go through the sorting of stuff he and the other guy had done because there wasn't enough time.  I knew we had a couple hours and the process wasn't really difficult.  I think we impressed him a little toward the end in that we made quilt kits, but he was thinking they'd made more before.  I had made kits of everything that had enough material, so it really wasn't a sorting problem, but he was used to someone who had done this job before, but had been sick and missing for quite some time.  At the end, he welcomed me back and said that everyone helped to contribute to the whole.  But, it was rough going in the middle.  I promised ourselves that we wouldn't over-consider his grouchiness in making a decision not to go back.  He was tough though.  We had also felt uncomfortable with him because when he got frustrated he would turn back to listening to Rush Limbaugh who he laughed and talked to himself about.  Hmm, ultra-conservative ... who would have guessed?  I will appreciate though that he's put in so much time and I understand that he comes in everyone once in a while in-between things so it doesn't get backed up.  I wanted him to understand I was here to help him.  Hope that turned out to be a good decision, because I wouldn't want to fall into that kind of pressure every time without good reason.

I liked doing the work though again more pressure the second day over the first.  I had the feeling people knew about the tension between me and Don, but they were letting us work through it.  Every once in a while someone would go over to talk to Don privately or me, but they didn't stay long or get over-involved - just enough to be a hearing aid to the other.  That in itself was respectful.

The next part involved the thoughts and after-thoughts on going to a regular church service.  I'd been asked by the woman that seemed in charge and the minister about coming and to make sure we knew their hours.  That part really left me feeling shaky.  It seems the minister is a nice guy from Elgin who was supposed to retire, but he's working with this church until they find a replacement for their minister who already retired like 6-7 months previous.  It seemed that everyone knew everyone and even this one lady who was 95 was welcomed in as what seemed to be a regular helper.  That was impressive.  I worried over the feeling of "supposed to being" at church, but Rich and Dr. Marvin took some of the pressure off ... Rich said that I should wait and talk to Dr. Marvin first.  On Tuesday we just talked five minutes at the end of the session, but then on Thursday, we talked about general stuff the first 15 minutes, and then the remaining time I had asked for something harder, and he remembered for us the part of talking about church and church people - so that's what was discussed for 45 minutes.

I don't want to get into it a lot here and now, but the majority of things coming out were all the bad experiences with the church such as idiotic ministers including my brother, and the problems with Brother John (BJ) and Sr. Theresa, as well as the other really known Catholic, my ex and his family.  I really had a lot of bad stories of people who were all supposed to be religious and whatever that might mean.  Dr. Marvin wanted us to search for other things that were more positive to balance those thoughts.  We could say honestly we believed in God and in Jesus as the ultimate teacher, but we had more trouble with the spirituality of all that - especially not really understanding all the service requirements of knowing what to do and when and for what reason.  That was all a mystery to us although we'd gone to Sunday School and then Confirmation classes until we were 16 years old.  At that point we were able to choose and we chose not to go.  It didn't help going to a Catholic school and all that mess.  Some parts were good, but we always felt insufficient because we were not as "religious" as them.

The good parts?  What were we looking for?  I think more than everything we're looking for fellowship, though that too is a loaded word.  I would like to meet others though who I might enjoy spending time with and to share meaningful experiences.  I think the church has a couple hundred people which seems fairly safe, but thinking that it's going to be a lot of work just to get past the front door.  At the end of the conversation, Dr. Marvin suggested that we talk to the minister.  It seemed that would be the right thing, but we hadn't gone to church the first Sunday, and tomorrow we'll be with Jade and Isa, and then the following week we'll be in WI with our own quilting group, and then the next Sunday Jasmine and Ami will be here and then the following Sunday Jon, Rich's son might be here.  I guess there is nothing to say we couldn't still go, but I don't want to bring the girls into an unfamiliar (scary) place with us, and Rich will be fishing so I can't really leave them alone.  If I were to talk to the minister or invite him over, there would be that confusion.  I think if I were to talk to him, we'd have to mention a little of our reservations and then also ask to be given information that would explain the service better.  I'm not sure if they offer classes for that type of thing, I do know there is two women's groups that meet.  Just I think they are going over scriptures which is way beyond me at this point.  It would also mean trying to figure out where our church records were left in Winona, MN.  That was like 13-14 years ago ... how am I going to remember all that - we don't know the church's name though we I guess have an idea where they were ... the building was right next to the government housing on the main street.  Thinking most likely they'd still be there.

Maybe even there though we're jumping the gun.  I know as well that part of the decision includes thoughts of Rich.  We're not sure if he would join with us.  I believe he was Lutheran to start, but switched over to Catholic because his wife was and she was a CCD Director and he was expected to be sitting in the pews with his kids as she was working.  He said that he did a lot of time communing with Nature that was in his head.  I'm thinking this means bubbly streams and fishing lures.  Rich is by nature a good person and I'm thinking he could attend with me, but whether he comes or not ... it is independent of my decision.  I think he would go with me if we were really serious, but as well, he might be counted out because of the busyness of his weekends.  They have services at 5 pm Saturday, and 8:30 am and 10:00 am Sundays.  It would really be a change of pace.  We're still at the place of needing to think about things.

Again, a call to the minister would probably be a good day.  I think we left it with Dr. Marvin that we'd check on their office hours.  Ok, we finally found their site through facebook.  It states that office hours are from Tuesday through Friday 9-4.  So we'll put our thoughts toward that.  We've got time.  Dr. Marvin thought that we might want to go in to the service to see how it might affect us.  I know that is probably a good idea, but again ... almost pleased that there is some things on our agenda that don't make that likely for the first month.

Ok, we're way past that stuff.  We figured that we needed to pick up a little more and that we needed to take our shower and do the floors and bathrooms.  Well most of that got done ... floors might happen in-between someting else.  Hehehe you know ... an activity?  We were just out of the shower and we heard some knocking and it was Bud at the door.  Glad the closet is in the bathroom area!  That was a bit of a panic.  But, we had a nice visit.  They had gone out to Bud's Great Granddaughters birthday and Bud talked a lot about the work he was doing still cleaning up from the flood.  It sure is a lot of work.  I know that I couldn't be a help to him, but I still think it's a lot of work.  He had help from his sons in the beginning, but not so much now.  I was glad to listen to him though.  Seemed like he had a lot to get off his chest.  He was supposed to have gone to the doctor's, but there was nobody there.  So maybe a confusion of dates.  It was nice that since he was out he thought to stop by.  He wouldn't let me put on another pot of coffee or have the donuts that are in house (grandchildren), but it was a nice 20 minute space.  Then after he left we finished getting ready and now we are up to now.  There was a few moments catching up with Linda in the messages left.  Seems like she's doing some housecleaning too.  She was with her Grandson's for a few days.  There's always something to do when one gets back.

The cat is so funny ... he's sitting in a sunbeam with his face raised toward the sun with his eyes closed.  Yup yup ... he's having a good morning.  We're just starting to get the sun on this side of the house.  It's almost noon.  The cats really like it when we come out here to sit.  AND there are flowers in our view too.  Turns out there are daffodils that come up all by themselves by the outdoor globe light (like the one's everyone in our park has).

I can hardly wait to find out what might be of interest to a teenager and a second grader.  I don't think that any of Jade's friends are coming which might be good the first time because she can figure out how we're going to be - like a test run.  It seems so strange to have girls 7-14 years old and never stayed over.  Maybe one night for Ame, but that's really far in-between.  I hope everyone is happy with the situation.  I think it's neat as kids to get away from home periodically, just to change things up.  Plus, it REALLY gives me more time to get to know my Grandchildren on their own.  It's the good stuff of life.

Did I tell you yet we got a lawn mower?  We did pretty much of the lawn ... Rich just got in back of the trellis because it was down and he needed to pick it up and do the curvey area.  The trellis is down again ... and we're telling him we need a rope and stakes, but he is like - no a girl thought of that so we're not going to do it.  Why don't I think about this another month or two!??  Well maybe he didn't say that exactly, but that's our interpretation of his action.  He didn't do anything with the house for over a week now ... AND, he went fishing last Sunday and is planning on going out tomorrow.  BUT, that's part of the deal isn't it?  I told him we were doing our part by keeping things cleaned and picked-up and we hadn't missed a day, but then he said he didn't make the same kind of agreement.  I hope that he is teasing me, because the one that decides fair or not fair is not happy.  LIKE our quilt isn't up.

Hmm, that makes me remember ... we measured her last week and found that it is 93" x 110" AND the wall hanging thing is 96" so we figured that was ok, but the floor to ceiling is only 109".  We still have to figure out what we're going to do to the quilt to make it stand up on the pole.  Shoot ... let's go back to not thinking about that again.

We were arguing to ourselves while writing to Linda as to whether we used this time before Maury and his family came out to sew or to write.  Obviously, I won out.  BUT, there is a strong force that wants to quilt too.  We sorted out the colors yesterday.  We put all the stray pieces together - there were 48 of them to work with - in order from the darker pieces to the lighter pieces.  Pretty much they were like black, blue, green maroon, red, yellow, beige, and then white.  So we flipped half of the pile over with the intent of things meeting in the middle.  It was still going to be a checkerboard though.  So the 1-1 position was the first light color, then 1-2 was the first dark color, then on the other side we had the 8-6 position being the next light color, and 8-5 being the next dark color.  And then it just kept reversing, but the next row would start with an opposite light/dark to get the checkerboard affect.  We labeled all the pieces so that we didn't get confused when we were sewing.

Hmm, blackbirds scared away all the pretty birds.  That's no good.  I hope they fly away.  Hmm, seems to have happened.  Will they come back?  Not so far ... so so far so good!

Maybe we are a little interested to in the sewing.  The more I write about it the more that we want to sew.  I'm thinking that while Jade is talking that maybe we'll do a little cutting at the dining room table.  Hmm, that seems like a pretty good idea.

The deal was that after we started thinking about the church quilts, we wanted not to have to wait for another batch.  But, we couldn't figure out ... if we used CS stash basically, we'd run out.  Plus, we didn't like that they were just dark fabrics.  There wasn't enough contrast.  So in the end, we found our way to E-Bay looking for cheaper fabrics.  Well we wanted the cost cheaper not the fabric.  What we found was someone selling Fat Quarters (FQ) for only a $1 and he seemed to be selling them in some interesting variations like he had one put together by Jinny Beyers, and another one put together by Debbie Mums, so he actually knew his fabric and quality.  So then the next thing was in seeing if he had a bundle I could afford and interested me.  AND< WE DID!  He was selling a group of 40 fabrics that all had some variation of yellow in them.  It was the bright contrast to cs fabrics I was hoping for without thinking it out too much.  What eventually came to our thoughts was that we would use 40 squares from this seller and 40 squares of CS FQ and that would make FIVE ENTIRE QUILTS for $8 a quilt.  THAT was a price we could afford to donate!  The yellows should be here either Monday or Tuesday.  The squares we are going to cut are the 11" x 6".  There will be 96 of them to make a 60" x 80" quilt because the chuch likes 1/2 seams instead of the normal 1/4" seams.  It should be a really great project.

This sort of then flows into what we'll be doing with our time while with the granddaughters today and tomorrow and what we'll be working on for the next week, hopefully before the sewing week next Saturday.  What we're thinking is that we can cut out all the squares for the five quilts, and then we could use Saturday and maybe Sunday if anyone wants to sew with us to put together most likely more than one quilt.  I'm under no pressure to get quilts done - other really than the two I took with me from the church, but now it seems that quilting could have meaning again for me.  I haven't really quilted since we went on retreat last Oct/Nov.  Currently, I don't have a nice quilting project ... nothing has inspired me and I haven't really been looking.  I'm pretty sure we have some project that would be nice, but frankly we've been only dealing squarely with scraps.

After we put our sewing room together, we found that we could bring out the ironing board and it would form a little awkward, but still useable ironing table and for a month or so we were using the scraps in the bins in the fabric closet to keep us busy.  We still need to work with colors and sorting, so now we're thinking that might be a project for me and the girls tonight too!  We also stopped yesterday at the U-Haul place and got a couple 10 pound boxes of packing paper - or in Gramma langauge project paper!  I think that Isa is going to bring some of her coloring stuff too so that would be perfect.  We're thinking of doing a project with scrap fabric painting.  I don't know if Jade will be interested, but she's got no competition, so maybe it is something to keep her hands busy while talking.  AND, give us something we can do together.  I like the thought of having quilting THINGS happening while they are around.  I think it would be something they could fall back on later.  I think more quilters come to it from relatives quilting before them, and then accept as a worthwhile project AND an expression of art.  Isa?  She's just ammenable to all fun type things happening around her.  I decided to save the electric broom work until later too, one because the floor is not that bad, but two, it becomes another project we can have fun with.  I really like the idea of interesting the girls in tasks that are familiar to the household - sort of inviting them into our space.  I think though where we're most useful is that we someone new to them (though familiar) that will be safe to talk to.  Just really excited!

Hmm, stopped to look up ... Both kitties are out with us now on separate pieces of furniture and they are both self-bathing.  I really think they are happy in this house.  We can also hear the sounds of lawnmowing.  I looked up to see a riding lawnmower and think that it is the park people.  There are two properties that are vacant and I think he's doing that.  We also just talked to Rich.  He is done with his game and was gingerly asking what we thought of him fishing tomorrow.  I know that if we really needed him here he wouldn't fish, but the fact of the matter is that we've got this side thing going on ... if he can bring us frozen waffles, then I can take care of the kids eating in the morning PLUS donuts without him being here.  SO, it was fine that he went fishing.  YAY US!  Aren't we the nice ones ... at least today?

AHA!  Linda is back ... need to check out how she's doing.  Hopefully she's moved past housework too to be doing the fun stuff.

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